Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Viburnum rufidulum


Rusty blackhaw viburnum, Rusty blackhaw, Southern blackhaw, Downy viburnum


Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)



Viburnum rufidulum (Rusty blackhaw viburnum)
Cox, Paul
This viburnum is a shrub or tree, usually growing to 18 ft. but sometimes taller with bark separating into dark, rectangular plates. Twigs reddish brown with a thin light gray coating. Leaves in pairs, often on short spurs, the petioles covered with rust colored, branched hairs visible under a l0x hand lens; blades up to 3 1/2 inches long, elliptic to oval or ovate, tip rounded or with a broad point, base rounded or broadly wedge shaped, margins finely serrate, firm textured with a shiny upper surface. Glossy, dark-green, deciduous leaves turn a variety of warm hues in autumn. Flowers white, from 1/4 to 3/8 inch wide, in rounded or flattened clusters up to 4 inches wide, appearing in March and April and noticeable from a distance in early spring. Fruit fleshy, bluish black lightened by a waxy coating, up to 1/2 inch long, slightly longer than wide.

Rusty Blackhaw is distinguished from the more northerly Blackhaw, Viburnum prunifolium, primarily by the reddish-brown hairs on foliage and other parts, as well as by the slightly larger leaves and paler blue fruit. The Latin species name, meaning reddish, also refers to the hairs. The two species intergrade where their ranges meet.

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43 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic
Size Notes: 15-25
Fruit:
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MS , MO , NC , OH , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Distribution: VA to s. OH, s. IN, s. IL & MO, s., except in mts., to FL & TX
Native Habitat: Thickets, Open woodlands, Stream, river banks. Dry, rocky woods; thickets; stream banks. Open woodlands from East to Central Texas. Well-drained sand, loam, clay.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Slow-growing. Hard to propagate. With its waxy leaves, rusty blackhaw presents excellent fall hues of red, lavender, pink, and orange. Tiny clusters of flowers bloom in spring. In Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas, Correll and Johnston noted that the fruit tastes similar to raisins. Rusty blackhaw is good for understory plantings. Birds appreciate the fruit.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Showy, Understory tree, Fall conspicuous, Attractive
Use Wildlife: Nectar-bees, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-insects, Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Last Update: 2013-09-07